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National Public Gardens Day
Month of May
Free Docent-led Tours of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Mondays at 2 p.m.; Free with paid Garden admission or membership.
Tuesdays in May – 11 a.m.
Garden Tours - Santa Barbara Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Free gardener-led tours of Four Seasons Biltmore Gardens, reservations required through Concierge, 10 people per tour, 45 minutes.
For reservations, please call (805) 565-8290.
Thursdays in May – 1 to 3 p.m.
Docent-led Tour & Afternoon Tea at Simpson House Inn – Simpson House Inn
Every Thursday in May from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. a Docent Tour & Afternoon Tea at the historic Simpson House Inn, the only AAA rated Five Diamond Bed & Breakfast in North America. Secluded on an acre of English Gardens in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara with expansive lawns, mature trees, flower beds and water features.
Docent Tour from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Afternoon Tea served at individual tables in the gardens from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. A selection of finger sandwiches, savories & sweets including homemade scones with lemon curd & cream. Mighty Leaf Teas, iced tea & lemonade.
$30 plus tax per person. Take home a gift pack of watercolor greeting cards of the gardens.
Saturdays, May 4, 11, 18, 25
Open House and Guided Tours of the SBCC Lifescape Garden - Santa Barbara City College
Free, guided tours of our demonstration garden which features over 450 different species for use in Santa Barbara landscapes. The tour will lead you through the garden’s six sections, featuring plants from southern California, the tropics, the Mediterranean, Australia and South Africa. We also have
a mature Food Forest, succulent section and organic vegetable garden.
Saturdays and Sundays in May – 1 to 4 p.m.
Capturing the Goodland (Exhibit) - Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 North Los Carneros Road
Join us for a celebration of the beauty and history of the Goleta Valley with inspiring images by submitted by photographers under 18.
Contact 681-7216 or www.stowhouse.com for more information.
Sundays in May
Carousel Rides in Chase Palm Park - PARC Foundation
Celebrate our community parks and gardens courtesy of the Park and Recreation Community (PARC) Foundation. Download your free ticket from sbpublicgardens.org for two people to ride the 1916 Alan Herschell Carousel in Chase Palm Park. Tickets can be redeemed Sundays in May, 10 a.m – 4 p.m.
Sundays in May – 2 p.m.
Rancho La Patera & Stow House Garden Tours - Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 North Los Carneros Road
Complimentary garden tours. Discover the history of our gardens and learn
more about the Arboretum Restoration Project, which will return the gardens to the splendor of the early 20th century. Tours begin at the Visitor Center.
May – July
2 for 1 Special on Tours of Casa del Herrero – Casa del Herrero
Offered May – July for guest who mention NPGD or Santa Barbara Public Garden Partners when making reservations.
Wednesday – Saturday, May 1 – 4
Swarm: A Collaboration with Bees – Lotusland
(Final 4 days of exhibition)
Fee, advance registration
Wednesday, May 1 – 7 p.m.
Growing Together and Building Community – The Genesis of the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden – Louise Lowry Davis Center, 1232 De la Vina Street
Presented by the Santa Barbara County Horticultural Society
Puck Erickson will share the journey and lessons learned when an enthusiastic and somewhat naïve group of volunteers embraced the idea of planning and developing a botanic garden in the Santa Ynez Valley five years ago. Carol Puck Erickson, Landscape Architect and principal partner with Arcadia Studio and Founder of the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden, has worked in the field since 1977. With an emphasis on the communal and restorative nature of gardens, her designs minimize impacts to the land and establish a lasting connection to the surrounding environment. Puck excels at facilitation and planning, including coordination of public workshops and presentations to foster community understanding and consensus. Her work has been published in a number of publications including Architectural Digest, Garden Design, Phoenix Home and Garden, Pacific Horticulture, and Sunset Magazine as well as several books including ‘Reimagining the Lawn.’
Friday, May 3 – 8 a.m.
Bird Walk & Talk - Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 North Los Carneros Road
Join Adam Lewis, co-author of the book The Birds of Lake Los Carneros, for a walk to explore the bird populations at Lake Los Carneros Natural and Historical Preserve (preserved by the City of Goleta). Discover this “birding hotspot” in your own backyard throughout the seasons. Bring a camera/binoculars and wear good walking shoes for an approximately 2-hour adventure. Free, no reservation necessary. Meet at the Rancho La Patera & Stow House Visitor Center. For more info go to www.stowhouse.com or call 681-7216 x2.
Friday, May 3 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lecture – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Dr. Bruce Tiffany, Elbowing Out the Competitition talk on the history of plants with fun facts! $15 members $25 nonmembers.
Saturday, May 4 – 3 p.m.
Cacti and Cocktails – Lotusland
Fee, advance registration
Transform your landscaping into one which is sustainable and provides you with fresh, healthy produce, fruit and herbs year round. Master Gardeners Diane Galvan, Laurel Lyle and Karen McConaghy will define Edible Landscaping, provide guidelines for a good edible landscape plan/design, discuss planting and maintaining, harvesting and storing your Edible Landscape and food safety.
Saturday, May 4 – 2 p.m.
Japanese Tea House, 10th Anniversary Docent-led Specialty Tour – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Japanese Tea House and garden tour.
Saturday, May 4 – 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
ShinKanAn Tea House 10th Anniversary Celebration – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony at the Garden’s authentic Teahouse in honor of its tenth anniversary complete with macha and sweets!
$10 members $15 nonmembers
Tuesday, May 7 – 8:30 a.m.
Resolution @ Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors – County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu Street
Short Acceptance Speech.
Tuesday, May 7 – 2 p.m.
Proclamation @ Santa Barbara City Council - City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street
Short Acceptance Speech.
Susan Chamberlin, Virginia Hayes
Learn the story behind Santa Barbara’s rich horticultural history. Landscape historian and author Susan Chamberlin will share how cultural context and water, or the lack of it, shaped Santa Barbara’s unique landscape over the years. Virginia Hayes, Curator of Ganna Walska Lotusland and author, will talk about influential horticulturists and the plants they introduced to the Santa Barbara area. Public gardens and parks that are easy to visit will be featured. Susan Chamberlin, a former lecturer in garden history at Santa Barbara City College, co-wrote the National Historic Landmark documentation for Casa del Herrero, contributed to publications ranging from the book, Shaping the American Landscape, to journals such as Site Lines and Arts and Architecture, and is the author of Hedges, Screens & Espaliers. Curator at Lotusland since 1992, Virginia Hayes writes a popular column on gardening for the Santa Barbara Independent and regularly contributes to the Lotusland Newsletter, Montecito Magazine, Pacific Horticulture magazine and others.
Friday, May 10
Open House and Guided Tours of the SBCC Lifescape Garden – Santa Barbara City College
Free, guided tours of our demonstration garden which features over 450 different species for use in Santa Barbara landscapes. The tour will lead you through the garden’s six sections, featuring plants from southern California, the tropics, the Mediterranean, Australia and South Africa. We also have a mature Food Forest, succulent section and organic vegetable garden.
Friday, May 10
Garden Lovers Tour - Various Locations
Docent led tours of public gardens (Lotusland, Casa del Herrero, Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden), includes bus transportation. 4 hours. advance registration required through Casa del Herrero. Fee: $50.00 Reservations required.
Friday, May 10
Activities at the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Children’s Garden. – Santa Barbara Zoo
Special garden-related activities for kids in the Kallman Family Children’s Garden – each child takes home a living flower to plant in their own garden. Activities free with paid admission or Santa Barbara Zoo membership.
Friday, May 10
Free Docent-led Tours of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Free with Better Homes & Gardens passes ( 2 people per pass ), times TBD.
Friday, May 10 – 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
Santa Barbara Courthouse Garden Tours - County of Santa Barbara
Free tours of the Courthouse Gardens and Clock Tower clock room.
Friday May 10 - 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara Garden Tours – Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara will conduct two special installments of its popular guided botanical tours, led by landscape manager Ezequiel Gil. Horticultural treasures and exotic plants have been brought to the Resort’s gardens from around the world, and its team of meticulous gardeners keep them flourishing year-round. Explore 48 of the property’s rarest botanical specimens, including North America’s largest collection of rare kentia palms. Snap a photograph under the famous Moreton Bay fig tree, which dates back to the 1800s and has branches that span hundreds of feet. The tours are complimentary and open to the public, but are limited to 20 people each. Regular garden tours will be offered on Tuesdays throughout the month at 11 a.m. (max. 10 people).
Reservations for all tours must be made in advance through the Concierge at
1 (805) 565-8290.
Friday May 10 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Garden Tea – Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara will join other community partners like Lotusland, Casa Del Herrero and the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens in celebrating National Public Gardens Day with a special afternoon Garden Tea Party. Come experience the Four Seasons Biltmore’s renowned high tea in the delightful outdoor setting of the Resort’s legendary gardens. Executive Chef Alessandro Cartumini and Pastry Chef Don Hall have imagined an extravagant, springtime-y tea to be served in high style with all the customary accoutrements. For $35 per person, guests can enjoy conversation while savoring four types of seasonal finger sandwiches, scones and crumpets with house-made jam and Devonshire cream, and a medley of delectable sweets including ginger snaps, lemon pain de gene and carrot cake. In addition to a perfectly brewed pot of fine Harney & Sons tea, the party includes a glass of complimentary Champagne. Space is limited, early reservations are strongly recommended.
For reservations and more information, please call 1 (805) 565-8232.
Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11
Free Admission to Rancho La Patera & Stow House - Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 North Los Carneros Road
Visitors can experience Rancho La Patera by walking through the gardens, taking a guided tour of the Stow House, getting an overview in the Visitor Interpretive Center, and enjoying hands-on exhibits in the Cavalletto History Education Center. On view in the Exhibit Hall, “Capturing The Goodland” which highlights the photos of local young photographers.
Saturday, May 11
Mothers Day Tour and Tea - Lotusland
Fee, advance registration
Saturday, May 11
Annual Plant Sale - Santa Barbara City College
Offering a variety of ornamental landscape plants, with a focus on plants that are adapted to our local ecosystem, for inexpensive prices. All plants are propagated by the students of the Environmental Horticulture Department at SBCC.
Saturday, May 11 – 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fabulous Herbs for Flavorful Food & Composting Simply Done - Louise Lowry Davis Center, 1232 De la Vina Street
Presented by the UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County
Join Master Gardeners Steven Lewis and Katy Renner for an informative talk on preparing and selecting plants for your herb garden, some unusual herbs to consider, and tips for growing, harvesting, cooking and baking with your herbs. You will learn simple steps for preparing your compost, how to incorporate compost into your garden bed preparation and some composting tips for culinary herb gardens. Katy Renner, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College and active member of the Herb Society of America, worked as a pastry chef for Lucques in LA and Renaud‘s Patisserie in Santa Barbara prior to operating her own business selling desserts to local restaurants. Katy is an avid gardener with a passion for flavorful food and collecting exotic herbs. Steve Lewis is an avid home gardener and advocate of sustainable landscaping and landscape enhancement with native plants.
Saturday, May 11
Firescape Garden Tour - 2411 Stanwood Drive/Route 192, corner of Mission Ridge Road.
(NOTE: Parking is allowed in the grass/dirt lot; do not park at the Fire Station)
Presented by City of Santa Barbara Water Conservation Program and City Fire Department
See beautiful fire and water wise plants and learn how you can incorporate firewise landscaping principals into your garden. Recently new planted Zone 1 of the garden has brilliant new succulents incorporated with Mediterranean planting. Tours will be led by Jennifer Voss, Owner, Gardefacts Landscape Design and Care, is an accomplished landscape designer with a true understanding and love of plants. She particularly enjoys using architecturally interesting, texturally rich and vibrantly colorful plants that create artistic yet sustainable gardens. An award-winning designer, Arianna Jansma is passionate about plants, and delights in creating landscapes that transform the lives of her clients. Her acclaimed artistic sense is grounded by the fundamentals of scientific training, enabling her to design gardens that are both visually beautiful and ecologically sustainable.
Staff from City of Santa Barbara Fire Department and Water Conservation program will be on hand with firewise landscaping and water-wise gardening information.
Saturday, May 11 – 1 to 3 p.m.
Family Friendly & Kid Fun - Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 North Los Carneros Road
Kid-friendly fun! In honor of National Public Gardens Day visit the Ranch! Take a tour of the Rancho La Patera & Stow House and gardens or swing into the hands-on History Education Center plus check out our exhibit, Capturing The Goodland, featuring photographs by youth from 5-15. Kids are invited for story-time and a Mother’s Day craft project from 1-3pm. Free. For more info go to www.stowhouse.com or call 681-7216 x2.
Saturday, May 11 – 3 to 5 p.m.
Nancy Bauer Lecture and Book Signing – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Building Back Wildlife Habitat Gardens, how to build sustainable gardens.
$15 members/$25 nonmembers
Sunday, May 12
Activities at the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Children’s Garden. - Santa Barbara Zoo
Special garden-related activities for kids in the Kallman Family Children’s Garden. For Mother’s Day, every mother receives a flower and commemorative button. Activities free with paid admission or Santa Barbara Zoo membership.
Tuesday, May 14 – 7 p.m.
Growing Roses in Santa Barbara – The Good, Bad & Beautiful! – Chase Palm Park Center, 236 E. Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara
Presented by Dan Bifano and the Santa Barbara Rose Society
Everything you want and need to know about growing beautiful
roses in Santa Barbara from noted rosarian Dan Bifano. You will learn why Santa Barbara is the perfect place to grow roses, what locations are best for growing roses in your garden, proper preparation of a rose garden, organic rose gardening, and design tips such as height and bloom repeat. Dan will share pictures of local rose gardens and blooms of different varieties of roses. Dan’s first rose garden as a child numbered 100 or more at his parent’s home in Montecito than 50 years ago. A Master Consulting Rosarian and Arrangement and Horticulture Judge for the American Rose Society, Dan has been a professional landscape
designer for 25 years. He has volunteered his time for over 30 years serving as garden coordinator for the nationally recognized City of Santa Barbara A.C. Postel Memorial Rose Garden located across from Mission Santa Barbara.
Friday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 22 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Old Mission Santa Barbara La Huerta Tours – Old Mission Santa Barbara
Free open-house-style tours of La Huerta Historic Gardens, a living museum of botanical heritage. The garden portrays the botanic history of Spain’s agricultural transformation of the California landscape by preserving authentic and ancient plants collected from sites where rare Mission-era (1769-1834) varieties survived.
Use front parking lot.
Saturday, May 18 – 10 a.m. to 12 noon
How to Save Water and Have an Ocean Friendly Front Yard - Louise Lowry Davis Center/Spencer Adams Park - 1232 De la Vina Street
Presented by City of Santa Barbara Water Conservation Program and City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation
Three gardens at Spencer Adams Park showcase different approaches to water wise landscaping which can be incorporated into any front yard. The Water Wise Garden illustrates how turf can be replaced with a diverse selection of water wise plants which add dimension and color to a front yard. The Subsurface Irrigation Lawn demonstrates how turf can be more efficiently watered with an irrigation system that delivers water right to the roots, significantly reducing evaporation and runoff. The Ocean Friendly Garden was converted from turfgrass to a native rain garden that receives water from a re-directed downspout. Learn how the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens’ principles of CPR – Conservation, Permeability and Retention – were applied and how it can be a model for your yard. Professionals involved with the installation will be on hand: Santos Escobar, City Parks Manager, Lesley Wiscomb, Master Gardener, Rob Lane, Rockrose Design, Kimberly True, Landscape Architects, Tru Nature Landscape Architecture, and Heather Wehnau, Plant Propagation Manager, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
Saturday, May 18 – 11 a.m to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bonsai Exhibition and Sale – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Come learn about and look at the art of Bonsai! Perhaps pick up your own.
Free with SBBG admission
Saturday, May 18 – 11am to 4am and May 19 – 9am to 4pm
Bonsai Exhibition and Sale - Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Come learn about and look at the art of Bonsai! Perhaps pick up your own. Free with SBBG admission.
Sunday, May 19
Goleta Valley Heritage Tree & History Tour - Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 North Los Carneros Road
Join Goleta Valley Historical Society & Goleta Valley Beautiful for an escorted “behind-the-gates” tour of some of the Goodland’s natural and historical treasures including Bragg Farms, Bishop Ranch, the nationally-recognized Sister Witness Tree and more. $40/per person includes transportation and light lunch. Reservations are required.
Contact Rancho La Patera & Stow House at 681-7216 or www.stowhouse.com for more information.
Sunday, May 19 – 4 to 7 p.m.
Preserving Precious Spaces - Casa del Herrero
Garden Party and Art Sale. 13 of Santa Barbara regions best plein artists are exhibiting and selling their paintings of special landscapes to benefit Casa del Herrero.
» Tickets by reservation ONLY
Gain a greater appreciation of the variety, origin, and horticultural aesthetics of the trees of Santa Barbara’s urban forest. Noted author and Director of Research at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Bob Muller, will talk about the trees of Santa Barbara’s streets and parks – a legacy from the several plantsmen who contributed so much to the horticultural ambience of our community. Learn how the 450 variety of trees that now grow in our community represent a conservatory of the arboreal diversity of the world. Bob Muller is a forest ecologist, who taught ecology and tree identification to forestry students at the University of Kentucky for 24 years. As Director of Research at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden he revised the Trees of Santa Barbara (2005).
Parking is allowed in the grass/dirt lot; DO NOT PARK at the Fire Station.
Thursday, May 23 – 7 p.m.
Seeing Alice Through A Designer’s Eye - Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.
Grant Castleberg and Billy Goodnick, Presented by the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department
Become a better garden designer by learning the fundamental visual concepts behind Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden, the jewel in the crown of Santa Barbara’s park system. Grant Castleberg, who designed the park in 1976, will be joined by Billy Goodnick for an evening of “Alice.” Grant will share some of Alice’s history and original design concepts and Billy will take you on a slide tour of Alice’s most beautiful planting combinations. Learn the how and why of Alice’s magic so you can take these ideas home to your own garden. Landscape Architect Grant Castleberg is well known throughout Southern California having designed many public and private projects over the years. A resident of Santa Barbara since 1960, Grant’ career combined his love of design with his life-long interest in horticulture.
Billy Goodnick, landscape architect and author, served as City landscape architect for 22 years and has taught garden design to homeowners and college students for more than two decades. He regularly blogs on edHat.com, freelances for Fine Gardening, Sunset and 805 Living magazines, co-hosted and co-created the Garden Wise Guys TV show, and speaks to garden lovers throughout the country. Following the talk, Billy will have copies of his new book, Yards: Turn Any Outdoor space into the Garden of your Dreams available for sale and book signing.
Master Gardeners Barbara Hughes and Kathy Southard will talk about the history of beekeeping, the life of the honey bee, plants that bees love, and how to get started in beekeeping. Barbara Hughes is a longtime resident of Santa Barbara and avid gardener, who shares her home with her husband, two dogs, a cat and several thousand honeybees. Kathy Southard, also an avid gardener, transformed her front yard to a wildlife sanctuary by using edibles and natives, overcame her fear of working with bees, and now helps catch swarms to assist
others in beekeeping.
Saturday, May 25 – 3 to 5 p.m.
Wine and Cheese Lecture: Bracken, Fennel, & Calochortus – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
What Santa Cruz Taught Me About How Nature Works with Steve Gliessman, retired Ruth and Alfred E. Heller Professor of Agroecology in UC Santa Cruz.
Sponsoring Winery: Condor’s Hope
$20 members/$35 nonmembers
May 25 to May 27 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
IMadonnari - Old Mission Santa Barbara
In support of the Children’s Creative Project through the Santa Barbara County Education Department, the 27the annual IMadonnari Italian Street Painting Festival will be held at Old Mission Santa Barbara. Featured will be the chalk art of many talented street painting artists. There will also be a kids’ area for street painting and lots of food and entertainment. Come experience one of Santa Barbara’s most popular and beautiful events. The event is free to the public, and parking is free in the Mission lot.